Title: Invisible Girl
Author: Lisa Jewell
Kate Fours, her husband Roan, and their two teenage children are living temporarily in a flat in one of the finest streets in Hampstead, north London. When her daughter comes home terrified after being followed down the street by a strange man, all Kate’s instincts tell her that she knows exactly who it was. But is she correct? Then someone else she knows is violently assaulted just around the corner from her flat, and Kate begins to think she must act on her suspicions before it’s too late.
Owen Rudd lives with his aunt in Hampstead. He is thirty-three and has never had a girlfriend. Having been suspended from his job as a teacher at a technical college, he finds himself questioning his position in life. Looking for answers, he stumbles upon an online world full of lonely men, just like him. And then he meets William who has never had a girlfriend either. But William has a solution, a solution that is as tempting as Owen knows it is horribly wrong.
Saffyre Maddox is seventeen and lives in a 10th floor flat with her stepfather and her stepbrother. She is a troubled child, currently being treated by a child psychologist called Roan Fours. She’s been a patient of Roan’s for nearly two years, and has become close to him in that time. Dependent on him, almost. And she knows things about him. Things that he wouldn’t want anyone else to know. Especially his wife.
The lives of three very different people are about to collide in a shocking and unimaginable way.
I am a big Lisa Jewell fan, so was immensely looking forward to starting her most recent novel, Invisible Girl. This book is satisfyingly twisty and riveting read which follows various, seemingly separate characters whose lives soon become entwined in different ways. It all centers around the disappearance of a teenage girl, but it’s about so much more than that – it’s about relationships, respect, family life, gender, appearances and deception – plus so much more.
It’s a novel I am wary of over explaining, as I don’t want to give too much away. I’ll just say that Lisa Jewell has done it again and created a fantastic read with convincing, well-rounded characters (and the characters really help make this book what it is; they’re so brilliantly created and fleshed out by the author, who I would expect no less of!). We get a real insight into the way a seemingly fleeting decision or life choice can have such an effect on someone’s life – Owen is a prime example of this – as well as how some people can so effectively and completely fool other people, even those closest to them. There’s multiple narrative threads at play here, and you just know that it’s all going to link together in some way, but you can’t quite work out how…
Combine this brilliant characterisation with an intriguing, complex (but not too complex) plot that moves along at just the right pace, and you have Invisible Girl. It avoids being overly dramatic but instead offers just the right level of impact.
This book really grabbed me from the first page, and the writing flowed so well that I struggled to put this one down – at all. Definitely recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher, Cornerstone, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.